5 Ways to Wellbeing Monday: Be Active

Monday – Be Active

The New Economics Foundation shared findings suggesting regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety. This is as a result of exercise releasing serotonin which can promote our mental wellbeing and can support us to feel more energised. With this in mind, I decided to start my Monday by being active and engaging in some yoga. I have only participated in yoga on a couple of occasions prior to this and have no idea how to do it. So, I found a short workout on YouTube to follow.

Yoga not only has the power to strengthen your body but to also calm your mind. After completing 45 minutes of exercise I discovered I already started to feel energised throughout my day, which was a huge difference from feeling exhausted last week. When you’re tired or stressed, it feels like working out will just make it worse. But the truth is that physical activity is a powerful energiser. Studies show that regular exercise can dramatically reduce fatigue and increase your energy levels.

Being active not only helped me gain energy throughout my day but it also distracted me for a short while, I took time out for myself and gave my mind a break. Let us know what you are doing for your self-care this week? Remember to make it your own, be active in a way that works for you.

~ Leanne

Introducing our e-Learning Service Manager, Ash

Introducing Ash Ruan Botes, our wonderful e-Learning Service Manager in the Let’s Talk Training Team at Harmless.

Originally hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, Ash has been with Harmless for just about 6 months. His role in the training team combines e-learning service management with instructional design. This means he takes the content delivered by our amazing training team and transforms it into engaging, interactive e-learning material! That content is being built into our new eLearning Portal (VLE).

Hear all about Ash’s background and experience in his video below, and watch out for more from him on the Harmless Facebook page.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing

Five Ways to Wellbeing (by Leanne Moulton)

Over the last couple of weeks, we have all been encouraged to self isolate and social distance. For many individuals including myself this has caused confusion, fear, panic, anxiety and maybe feelings we haven’t experienced before. We have had no choice but to adapt to our ‘new normal’, and I think it’s worth knowing that you are not alone and that these emotions we are experiencing in the current climate are valid.

Adapting to working from home has been strange. For the first week I felt abnormally tired – I felt as though I needed a nap every day and I was going to bed super early but still waking up tired. It made me aware that I need to practice what I preach on training; I need to ensure that I am engaging in self-care. I wanted to share with you how I am going to do that over the next few weeks whilst we are in lockdown.

A fantastic and fun way in which we can promote our own and others’ mental wellbeing is by implementing the five ways to wellbeing into our daily lives. They are a set of evidence-based actions which are often simple things that we can all participate in; they allow individuals to be creative, you can make them your own and it’s important that you find something within each section that you enjoy.

They are to: Connect, Be active, Take notice, Keep learning and Give.

For more information on the 5 ways to wellbeing – https://issuu.com/neweconomicsfoundation/docs/five_ways_to_well-being?viewMode=presentation

My mission is to dedicate each week day to focus on a specific area of the five ways and I encourage you to do so too!

~ Leanne

Say hello to Laura, the new suicide crisis support officer

Hi! I’m Laura, and this week I joined the Harmless team as a Suicide Crisis Support Officer for the Tomorrow Project. I’m so excited and grateful to be a part of such a fantastic team, and I’ve been welcomed so wonderfully by everybody.

I first heard of Harmless in 2014, when I actually used the service as a client. I stopped using the service in 2015, and in January 2020 I returned to Harmless as a voluntary intern, for which I have been writing an essay about trauma. I have really enjoyed writing about such an important subject, and I’m still continuing to write it from home. As of Tuesday this week, I officially joined the suicide crisis team as a support officer. This week has been a whirl of learning lots of new things, getting to know my colleagues, and being extremely grateful for how my life has turned 180 degrees from 2014 to now. I hope that my summarised story serves as a hopeful reminder to anyone who needs it, that recovery really can happen.

I have come to Harmless after working as a support worker in a low-secure forensic mental health hospital. The hospital specialised in supporting people with personality disorders. Before this, I studied Psychology in Education at the University of York, and spent a lot of time volunteering for Nightline, a listening service for students. These experiences have strengthened my already-existing passion for supporting anyone and everyone with their mental health, and I’m sure that working at Harmless will strengthen that passion that even further.

Doing the best you can with what you’ve got

Pam Burrows (People Booster) reminded us this morning that we’re all unique individuals who are doing the best with what we’ve got – and this couldn’t be more relevant in the current circumstances.

For some of us, we’re fortunate enough to have secure employment, supportive Senior Management at work, the flexibility to work from home and family around us (even if it is just through a phone/computer screen). This isn’t the case for everyone.

I wanted to remind everyone that Harmless and The Tomorrow Project are here. For you. If you’re struggling, please reach out. We’re all doing the best with what we’ve got, but that doesn’t mean we have to do it alone.

Take care of yourselves.



Introducing our Specialist Trainer, Leanne

Meet one of our Specialist Trainers, Leanne.

Leanne has been with our Let’s Talk Training Team for just under a year. She’s been leading on day-to-day management and delivery of training contracts for a few months, and is an integral part of the service.

If you’re joining us on live virtual deliveries in the coming months, you’re likely to meet her!

Watch her video below for a proper introduction.

Stay tuned to meet the rest of the team.

Self-love and the power of imagination

Can’t hug the ones you love? Give yourself a hug!

This morning, Pam Burrows (People Booster) asked us to use our imagination – a skill we might not practice using the older we get. Our physical responses to stress might be creeping up, but we can trick our brains into releasing amazing hormones that make us feel good, through the power of positive thought.

In times of lockdown and social distancing, we might not be able to hug, fist-bump or high five others, but there’s no reason we can’t do that for ourselves. I personally give ‘self fives’ when I feel like I’ve done a task well…odd to some, but my mind and body thank me for it!

This ties in very nicely with one of the Harmless mantras – celebrate every tiny victory. Give yourself permission to feel good in your achievements, no matter how big or small. At points in my life, I’ve struggled to get out of bed, brush my teeth, shower, and get dressed. Doing these tasks might be everyday ‘normality’ for many, but when you’re surviving mental ill health, every little job done is a reason for celebration.

How are you going to thank yourself for all that you’re managing to achieve?

Don’t forget to check out Pam’s page: https://www.facebook.com/PamBurrowsUK/

Today is World Autism Day

‪Autism and the impact that living with autism has is something very pertinent to me. I am far from an expert but there are things that I have learned due to my personal and professional experiences with autism that mean I have an understanding that may be beneficial to share.

I have recorded a short vlog today entitled ‘Autism & vestibular sensory processing – a short vlog about sensory overwhelm and anxiety’ that you can watch for free HERE

Please watch and share.